STREAMING SATURDAY: The MCU runs out of gas

Well, we all finally finished the interminable slog that is Moon Knight. Despite stellar casting and a very interesting premise, I’ve found it incredibly tough to make it through this limited series. The problem is that it’s just not interesting. It should be, but I can’t connect with it. It’s dull and I don’t care.

Maybe I’m just burned out. Like most of you, I’ve dutifully consumed every MCU property in the theater and at home, and I am here to tell you that the universe has finally found its end. At least let’s hope so.

I’m the first to admit that Marvel’s universe-building experiment, which had its origins with 2008’s Iron Man, has been grand. It’s been unprecedented in the annals of filmmaking. It’s brought us moments of incredible joy and sadness. You could even argue that it’s the defining mythology of the 21st century thus far. But for every WandaVision, which turned out to be an incredibly nuanced study of loss as well as a fun romp through sitcoms, there is bound to be a Moon Knight, which seems to have come and gone with no impact whatever on anyone.

Not the first time I’ve mentioned this

I told you all the way back in 2019 that Marvel’s universe was getting too big to manage. It’s only gotten bigger since then. There are plans to make it even bigger, with more characters, more multiverses, and inevitably more confusion.

There’s the MCU proper, which contains all the Disney-owned films (but not the ones that Disney owns but they didn’t own until they owned Fox.) The MCU also contains Disney+ shows that were on Disney+ but not the ones that are on Disney+ but used to be on Netflix. Except maybe Daredevil because The Kingpin appears in both things, it’s not clear.

Then there are the Sony movies, which are… sorta… the MCU, and then the other movies like Fantastic Four and the original Hulk which are definitely not MCU by virtue of them being so embarrassingly bad.

They’re literally calling it the Multiverse of Madness

And now there’s this whole multiverse angle. Again, I am amazed by the depth that Marvel brings to this. So now, all Spider-Men (Spider-Mans?) can exist together because they are all in different universes which can commingle. And this doesn’t even count the Spider-Men from Into the Spider-Verse who are different from the other Spider-Men because you can have a universe where Spider-Man is actually a pig.

This multiverse idea has been fed to us in stages. Loki gave us a lot of it. Some goes back to the last two Avengers films. Spider-Man: No Way Home opened the door, and the new film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness keeps it going. How is any sane person supposed to keep all this straight and also live a normal life?

And naturally you can stream all this

Since this is “Streaming Saturday” I am compelled to mention that pretty much everything I’ve mentioned except the new Doctor Strange movie is available to stream. Most of it is on Disney+, but if you really want to see it all, you’ll need a multiverse of other channels and a few bucks for pay-per view. Because in the MCU, nothing’s ever easy.

Yes, Marvel did this amazing thing. I just wish they would stop doing it for a bit. After having said so for years, it finally seems like I’m not the only one. What’s your take?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.